Roderick Kingsley was a famous and successful fashion designer who used questionable methods. His rather unscrupulous methods brought him many enemies, such as Belladonna, a woman whose company he ruined with a smear campaign. He had connections to several criminal associates. One such associate, a petty crook named George Hill who was on the run from Spider-Man, ducked into the sewers. He stumbled across an old secret base of the original Green Goblin, Norman Osborn .
Knowing this was valuable information, Hill passed it on to Kingsley. Kingsley thanked him by killing him to ensure no one else would know. Kingsley discovered some of Norman Osborn's journals among all the Green Goblin equipment. He decided to become a criminal himself and altered the Goblin costume and improved the Goblin equipment to become the Hobgoblin.
After a battle with Spider-Man, a battle which he barely managed to escape, Kingsley attempted to reproduceOsborn's formula to gain enhanced strength, but was cautious to avoid the insanity Osborn suffered. He tested the formula on a henchman by the name of Lefty Donovan. Kingsley had Lefty attack Spider-Man as the Hobgoblin as he watched to see any adverse side affects of the formula. Spider-Man thought he had defeated and unmasked the Hobgoblin, but Kingsley killed Lefty before he could implicate him by using a remote control on the goblin glider
to cause Donovan to crash into the side of a building. Only Spider-Man knew that the original Hobgoblin was still alive, while the authorities and media believed him dead.
Roderick Kingsley was created by Roger Stern and Mike Zeck and first appeared in Spectacular Spider-Man #43 (1980), but his Hobgoblin alter-ego was created by Roger Stern and John Romita Jr and first appeared inAmazing Spider-Man Issue 238 (1983).
Major Story Arcs
Kingsley, as the Hobgoblin, then tried to blackmail several well-known socialites who belonged to the prestigious Century Club, including J.Jonah Jameson and Harry Osborn. This all culminated into a battle royale with Spider-Man that ended with the Hobgoblin escaping after his battle van sank to the bottom of the Hudson. The only trace of the Hobgoblin aside from his battle van, was his mask left floating in the water.
Ned Leeds as Hobgoblin
Kingsley later discovered that reporter Ned Leeds had discovered his identity by following him to his hideout after Kingsley escaped from his battle with Spider-Man in the Hudson. Kingsley brainwashed Leeds into becoming his puppet. He was able to control Leeds and have him take his place in several meetings with other criminal bosses. To further draw attention away from himself, Kingsley even planted information to make it appear as if Flash Thompson was the Hobgoblin, after Flash publicly insulted the Hobgoblin on television. A rivalry subsequently started between the Hobgoblin and the criminal Jack O'Lantern ( Jason Philip Macendale) when Jack ruined his Flash Thompson frame-up unwittingly.
Believing that Leeds was the true Hobgoblin, Macendale hired the mercenary assassin, the Foreigner, to kill Leeds when he was on assignment in Paris. The Kingpin decided to pass along information on the "Hobgoblin"s death to Spider-man. Spider-Man was devastated in thinking that one of his friends and co-workers (as Peter Parker) had been one of his greatest enemies. Kingsley decided to retire to Belize with everyone believing that the Hobgoblin was dead.
Macendale decided to take on the guise of the Hobgoblin himself. Though he was a skilled mercenary, he met defeat at Spider-Man's hands many times.
In an attempt to gain more power, he went to the demon N'asrih during the Inferno crisis in Manhattan. Macendale said he would sell his soul for power but was laughed at by N'asrih. In the end as a joke, N'asrih placed a demon inside of Macendale. Later on, the demon inside would split from Macendale and dub itself the Demogoblin. He would later kill Demogoblin by blasting a building on top of him. Following this, Macendale once again sought power in the forms of Kraven the Hunter's strength enhancing formula, and later, cybernetic implants, but these, too, failed to help him.
At one point, when he was arrested and on trial, he revealed that the real "Hobgoblin" was Ned Leeds. The world had no choice but to believe this to be true.
The Return of Kingsley
After some time, Kingsley decided to come out of retirement. Not satisfied with what Macendale had done to his "name," the first thing Kingsley did as the original Hobgoblin, was kill Macendale, which he did by viciously blasting him to death in his cell.
He kidnapped Betty Brant, the widow of Ned Leeds, when she claimed to have evidence that Ned wasn't the real Hobgoblin. This was a ruse to bring out the Hobgoblin, which worked, because Betty had a spider-tracer on her, thus leading Spider-Man straight to them. Their battle ended with Kingsley finally being revealed to be the one and true Hobgoblin. It was also revealed that Kingsley had a brother Daniel Kingsley that often impersonated him when Roderick was away on Hobgoblin business.
When Norman Osborn "returned" from the dead, Kingsley was upset with his denial of being the Green Goblin. He was able to contact Osborn and claimed he had an old journal of his that proved he was the Green Goblin. Osborn had Kingsley broken out of jail with he help of Osborn's genetic construst Green Goblin. Osborn later told Kingsley that he knew there wasn't a journal with this information and used his own finances to buy out Kingsly's empire. Kingsley was furious but had in fact stashed away several millions